Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 March – Blessed Bertold of Mount Carmel (Died 1195)

Saint of the Day – 29 March – Blessed Bertold of Mount Carmel (Died 1195) Priest, Monk, Hermit, Crusader – born in Limoges, France and died in 1195 of natural causes – also known as Bartoldus of Calabria.

Blessed Bertold was born in France, the son of a Count.   He excelled at his studies and was Ordained a Priest.   Berthold’s brother, Aymeric, became the Latin Patriarch of Antioch.   The two joined together to participate in a Crusade to the Holy Land.Blessed-Bertold-of-Mount-Carmel

While in the Holy Land, Berthold travelled to Mount Carmel and built a Monastery and Church dedicated to the Prophet Elijah.   His reputation for holiness spread, other hermits were attracted to the area, including Saint Brocard.   Many hermits who were scattered throughout Palestine, followed Bl Bertold and came to live together in imitation of the life of the great prophet as recorded in the Old Testament.

beautiful st elijah
St Elijah the Prophet

Aymeric appointed Berthold the first Superior and he lived with his community at Mount Carmel for 45 years until his death in 1195.   Later the community became known as the Hermit Brothers of St Mary of Mount Carmel.

It was the life and work of Bl Berthold that laid the foundation for the Carmelite Order, which, in 1206 received a written rule from St Albert of Jerusalem, whose rule was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226.   In the same century, some members moved to Europe and established similar groups from Sicily to Oxford.

Carmelites returned to Mount Carmel in 1631 and finally completed the Stella Maris Monastery in the 18th century.   Its stout walls and small openings reflect the need for defence against hostilities during its establishment.Stella-Maris-Monastery on mount carmelStella-Maris-Monastery1

Later a lighthouse was built, giving a further meaning to the title Stella Maris.   Because of its commanding position, the lighthouse has been commandeered as a military establishment.

Inside the church, the décor features vividly coloured Italian marble and dramatic paintings in the dome, one depicting Elijah being swept up to heaven in a fiery chariot.   A cedar and porcelain statue of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is above the altar.  Steps lead down to a grotto, with a small altar, where the Prophet Elijah is believed to have occasionally lived.   People have lived in caves on Mount Carmel since prehistoric times.

st elijah in the stella maris on mount carmel

Stella-Maris-Monastery our lady of mnt carmel

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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